By Nik Brumsack
Carl Jenkinson believes he has now fully settled in at Emirates Stadium and is ready to push for a regular first-team place.
The boyhood Arsenal fan joined from Charlton Athletic last summer and made 14 appearances in his debut campaign. He has already made his mark this season, contributing to three consecutive clean sheets in the absence of the injured Bacary Sagna.
Jenkinson admits that it took time for him to adapt to his new surroundings but he now feels completely integrated into the first-team squad.
“I think it’s only natural that the longer you’re at a club, the more at home you feel,” Jenkinson told Arsenal.com.
“Coming here last year I felt a bit blown away with everything. This year I’ve come back and felt like one of the boys. It was different this year and it was nice because you like to feel comfortable and part of things. I’m happy with things at the moment and hopefully we just move on from here.
“My ambition for my whole career is to play for this football club. I want to be good enough and make my mark here. I won’t be happy until I’m playing week-in, week-out. That’s what I want to achieve.”
The defender was given his first-team debut quicker than expected last year, playing in both legs of Arsenal’s Champions League qualifier against Udinese just eight months after making his Charlton debut. That was a highlight - but there were downs as well as ups.
“Old Trafford [when Arsenal lost to Manchester United] was a difficult day for me, and a difficult day for the club. It wasn’t nice but I felt like I learnt a lot from that game,” said Jenkinson.
“There were plenty of highs too. The one that sticks in my head is at home to Spurs, beating them on our home turf. As a Gooner that was something special. I only played 20-odd minutes but to be a part of that was an amazing feeling.
“There have been ups and downs but I’ve learnt a lot and I feel I’ve progressed a lot as a football player in my first year.”Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 11 Sep 2012